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Rep. Clarke Fights to Strengthen Small Businesses

Our Small Businesses are the Key to True Economic Recovery

In the 111th Congress, Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (NY-11) has fought tirelessly to ensure that small businesses, in Brooklyn as well as throughout the nation, have access to the resources they need to contribute to this economic recovery.

“As a Member of the House Small Business Committee, I fully understand the important role small businesses play in pushing our economic recovery. Small businesses represent 99.7% of all employer firms, employ about half of all private sector employees, pay nearly 45% of the U.S. private payroll, and are responsible for more than half of non-farm private GDP,” stated Rep. Clarke. “That is why I have been working hard during this Congress to draft legislation and support policies that benefit our small businesses.”

During the 111th Congress, Rep. Clarke introduced and co-authored the following legislation to advance small businesses:

•HR 3771, “The Veteran, Minority and Women-Owned Construction Business Mentorship and Grant Assistance Act of 2009.” This bill would create grant and mentorship programs for small construction firms owned by women, vets, and minorities. These programs would enable these firms to ultimately secure surety bonding, a necessary prerequisite to competing for and getting awarded major construction projects.

•H.R.4134, “the Subcontractor Fairness Act of 2009,” which would hold prime contractors accountable for subcontracting proposals that they submit as a part of a Federal contract bid in the civilian or defense context. ( Co-authored legislation with Rep. Lacy Clay)

•H.RES.967, which recognizes the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund and reaffirms the importance of its mission of economic and community development.

“As the sole Member of Congressional Black Caucus on the Small Business Committee in the House or the Senate, I believe that we must help to strengthen our minority owned small businesses. I will continue to find ways to improve access to capital for our minority and women owned businesses, support our neighborhood CDFIs, and make the case for funding our Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA),” added Rep. Clarke.

“Democrats continue to be the party of small business, evidenced by the many legislative initiatives passed the House to help small businesses and firms of America get back on their feet,” said Rep. Clarke.

During the 111th Congress, Rep. Clarke joined House Democrats in passing the following legislation for Small Businesses:

•H.R. 1, “The Recovery Act” – which generated $29.5 billion in small business lending and, according to CBO’s latest report, boosted U.S. GDP by up to 4.5 percent in 2Q 2010;

•H.R.5297,”The Small Business Jobs and Credit Act;”

•H.R. 4849, “The Small Business and Infrastructure Jobs Tax Act;”

•H.R. 2847, “The Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act;”

•H.R. 3548, “The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act;”

•H.R. 3854, “The Small Business Financing and Investment Act;” and

•H.R. 2352, “The Job Creation Through Entrepreneurship Act.

H.R. 5297, the Small Business Lending Fund Act of 2010 and H.R. 5486, the Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act will help to create better financing opportunities for the over 11,000 small businesses in Brooklyn.

“I will continue to fight to ensure that small businesses in the 11th Congressional District of New York as well as across this nation get the resources they need to succeed. I will continue to work with my congressional colleagues in assisting small businesses, as they are the backbone of our nation’s economy,” concluded Congresswoman Clarke.